Remember I told you I had some exciting news? Well, here it is!
It all started with a letter my daughter, Kari, wrote this past spring. It was a plea she sent to nearly all the automobile dealerships in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Sue and I had no idea she did this. Only one company, Koons Automotive, really took any real notice. But, it didn’t matter because Koons cared… in a big way!
I later learned they are huge followers of this website!
Here is the letter Kari sent to dozens of dealerships:
By way of introduction, my name is Kari Diviney. I am a sophomore at West Virginia University and grew up in Northern Virginia. During my senior year of high school my brother, Ryan, was brutally beaten by a group of strangers. While only given 24-48 hours to live, he made it and with the help and love of my family has been fighting to survive ever since. Ryan sustained severe brain trauma in the attack and is still in a minimally conscious stage. My dad, Ken, quit his job and takes care of him in the basement of our Ashburn home round the clock. If you want to read up on my brother, my dad maintains a blog dedicated to his care at www.ryansrally.org. My mom, Sue, works long hours at her job to provide Ryan with the best of care, keep our home, and put me through college. I have never seen the level of devotion by a family as I do with my parents. My brother was attacked in November of 2009 and he has never spent a single moment without either my mom or dad by his side. My parents take turns sleeping by his side every night and my dad literally spends hours each day working Ryan out to keep his body functioning while his brain is healing. I have the most amazing parents ever.
That brings me to why I am writing. My parents desperately want to be able to take my brother out of the house. For the past two+ years my brother only gets out via ambulance for doctor or emergency room visits. My parents want to be able to take him to a park or to a ballgame, but they can’t. We don’t have a safe vehicle with a wheelchair lift to transport him. I say “safe” for a reason. A dear, dear family in Morgantown gave us a van to use. However, the van is a 1980’s model and we have to use a hammer to make the lift work. My parents have only tried to use the van once, and Ryan’s head basically touches the ceiling of the van, and it took my dad 15 minutes to get the lift to work with the hammer. The van also sounds like it is going to breakdown. It is too great of a risk to my brother to use the van.
Unfortunately, my parents don’t have the money to buy a new one. They need to put all the money that my mom earns and any donations we’ve received towards Ryan’s medical bills and medicine. While I know my mom and dad would never ask for a vehicle, and I admit it is equally difficult for me to ask. But I feel I must try for my brother. I know he would do it for me. My brother is my world. He is the best big brother a little sister could ever ask for. He is a great role model. In Ryan’s first year in college he was on the President’s list with a 4.0, followed by the dean’s list. He has never been in a fight in his life and did everything he could to help out others. He was an athlete in high school, loves sports and dogs, and could always brighten a room with his funny stories and smile. During his first year of college (before his brutal attack in his sophomore year) he volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Club, and spent time at a donation center. Ryan’s dream was to make the world a better place to live. He also looked out for me and would push me to do better. “Study Kari,” he would say. “Your grades are important.” When I was getting ready to submit applications for college, he told me I could only apply to WVU, so that we could be together. This never happened. I found out I was accepted to WVU in the ICU, my brother on life support at the time. I still went. I am here for Ryan. I also believe one day he will emerge and join me. But it hurts so badly, I can’t even begin to explain the pain. I could also go on and on about my brother. I just want you to understand a little bit about Ryan and my family and why I would be reaching out. To that end, and with deep humility, I am asking, would you be willing to donate an adapted van for transportation of my brother?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Ruby, Marketing Director, Jim Koons Automotive Companies. Ph: 703.448.7075 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Koons Automotive Donates New Vehicle to Local Washington, D.C. Family
Washington, D.C.-based Automotive Group will provide all-new Toyota Sienna mobility van to support Ryan Diviney and RyansRally.org
ASHBURN, Va., Dec. 11, 2012 – Giving back has always been a focus for Jim Koons Automotive Companies, one of the largest automotive dealer groups in the U.S. The company’s latest endeavor involves donating a brand new mobility van to the Diviney family of Ashburn, Va., through their organization, Ryansrally.org.
Ryan Diviney was brutally beaten while attending West Virginia University in 2009, and currently remains in a vegetative state at his home in Ashburn, Va. Ken Diviney serves as Ryan’s primary caregiver after stepping away from his career to take care of his son full-time.
“We can’t thank the Koons organization enough for this vehicle donation. They are truly a family with compassion, and this is extended to, and reflected in, their business culture. They care about the well-being of the community, and this is a wonderful example of that. It means so much to us in providing for our son. The Koons organization is the example of how businesses unselfishly give back to the community,” said Ken Diviney, Ryan’s father.
On December 17th at noon, the Toyota Sienna mobility vehicle will be personally delivered to Ryan Diviney and his family by members of the Koons family and Koons employees. The van will be equipped with a wheelchair ramp to enable Ryan to be transported outside his home – which currently isn’t possible for the family.
“Unkown to us, our daughter, Kari, reached out to nearly every automotive dealer in the area asking for one to take notice. Only one – Koons – responded,” said Diviney.
“The story of the Diviney family is a touching and heartwarming example of how families come together during times of great difficulty,” said Krystal Koons, spokesperson for Jim Koons Automotive Companies. “When we learned they needed a vehicle, we knew it was a perfect fit for a partnership given the fact it is such a worthwhile cause,” said Koons.
“I cannot stress enough what an inspiration this family is, and should be, to families across our community. Given the extreme circumstances in which the Diviney family has found themselves, it is truly heartwarming to see the level of love and devotion this family has displayed for Ryan,” said Koons.
About Jim Koons Automotive Companies
Jim Koons Automotive Companies is a family-owned and operated automotive group since 1964. With 31 franchises in 22 locations in the Washington, DC area, including Maryland, Virginia and Delaware; Koons is on the Top 20 list of largest automotive groups in the U.S., and one of the largest privately-held groups in the nation. Krystal Koons is the official spokesperson for Jim Koons Automotive Companies. www.koons.com
No need to worry about the beloved “chick magnet”. It is being returned to the Morgantown family who donated it to us. The wonderful news is, it will be put right back into service for another family in need! I love that van.